Top 8 Richest Actors in Hollywood
All celebrities live a life of chic, but some of them are just wealthy, while others are extremely wealthy. They make crazy money, even compared to other Hollywood stars. And they are even richer than many business people in the world!
Can you believe that one actor spent $5 million to shoot the ashes of his friend out of a cannon? And that another spent $100 million just to maintain his art collection... while one Hollywood star was so in-demand that for one role he managed to score the largest paycheck in media history?
Stick with us to find out all about these loaded celebs and discover which actor is the richest in Hollywood right now!
Robert Downey Jr.
Tony Stark is a fictional billionaire, so you might be a bit surprised to see Robert Downey Jr. at the bottom of our list. After his unbelievable success with Marvel movies and his signature Stark swagger, you’d think that Robert Downey Jr. would be the richest man on Earth, right?
Well, it’s not that simple! Although, we have to admit that he did earn A HELL of a lot from his multiple Marvel movies. In Favreau’s first Iron Man, Robert only banked a paltry $500,000, probably because Marvel were wary about taking a risk on what they wrongly assumed to be a washed-up has-been.
Still, you might think that $500,000 isn’t something to turn your nose up at... but that’s only because you haven't seen numbers from the rest of the Tony Stark films...
For the second Iron Man, creatively titled “Iron Man 2” Downey saw a stratospheric pay bump, earning no less than $10 million! Predictable as that might seem, do you feel a little bit… disappointed? The first Iron Man was easily, like, 10… no, TWENTY times more dramatic than its successor. But these numbers don’t even compare to what RDJ received for the third installment of Iron Man - where he pocketed $75 million! That’s some serious payola.
And what about the Avengers movies? The first one brought Robert at least $10 million but don’t forget his backend bonus, which weighed in at $40 million! Feels like RDJ was already on course to be richer than Tony Stark himself! And the actor closed out his time as old shellhead with one heck of financial bang in his final Marvel movie, “Avengers: Endgame”.
That’s probably no surprise, as “Endgame” earned $2.796 billion at the worldwide box office making it the first highest-grossing movie ever released. It even outpaced James Cameron’s “Avatar” that had been on the top of the list for a long time!
According to Forbes, Robert Downey Jr’s share of this booty was $75 million. Still… with his talent and hard work, doesn’t it seem a bit peculiar that RDJ comes last on our list of mega-money movie stars? That’s because while many others on this list had already earned their fortunes many times over, Robert Downey Jr was struggling to make his way out of jail. You've no doubt heard about his infamous decades-long struggle with addiction. That's the main reason why Robert dropped out of high school and it was the reason for several resulting arrests. RDJ was certainly not an easy teenager to work with!
After years of rehabilitation and countless attempts of trying to make filmmakers believe that he had put his years of partying behind him, Robert Downey Jr finally got the chance to portray his most iconic character - Iron Man.
And now, after all those struggles, his net worth is an inspirational $300 million.
While that might seem like a staggering sum, we need to move on to stars with even bigger bank accounts!
Next on our list is the kindest man on Earth. At just 22 years old, Keanu Reeves started his career pretty humbly, earning just $3000 for his debut film Youngblood. But it was Speed that dramatically changed Reeves’ fortunes. For that role, Keanu raked in $1.2 million. Box office bank totaling $350 million showed the film’s producers that they definitely needed to make a sequel to Speed, leading them to offer Reeves a more significant paycheck of $11 million to appear in the series’ second installment.
But Keanu just wouldn’t be Keanu if he were motivated by money. Instead, he turned down the cash, saying he preferred touring with his band at the time...
If you think that’s crazy, you should hear what Reeved did with his earnings for the Matrix films! After being given $10 million upfront for his role in the first of the Wachowski’s epic films, Keanu was also offered a percentage of box-office profits. Yet, Keanu ended up reinvesting this and much more of his own money into the Matrix sequels to ensure that they had equally stunning special effects that rivaled and even exceeded those of the original.
While the sum differs from one source to the next, Reeves almost certainly donated millions and millions of dollars to hundreds of the crew members who worked on the first Matrix movie, including people from the production company, the special effects teams, the costume designers, and others.
And that’s not all! Keanu also ended up donating around 70% of his Matrix earnings to Leukemia Research.
Yet even after giving away so much money, Keanu still manages to earn it all back (and more) with yet more iconic roles. John Wick Chapter 3, for example, has become one of Keanu Reeves' most successful films of ALL TIME. It brought in over $165 million domestically and a further $311 million worldwide. And now Keanu has reached a net worth of $360 million, breaking all the stereotypes about the dog-eat-dog nature of Hollywood and serving as proof that there really is a place for kindness in a rich man’s world.
Another Hollywood legend, Tom Hanks, comes next. Saving Private Ryan brought Hanks his first superstar paycheck of $40 million, and just take a second to remember that this was way back in 1998 so we still need to adjust for inflation! But that’s not the half of it. Hanks ended up getting a lot more than a box of chocolates for his role as the happy-go-lucky simpleton Forrest Gump, making $70 million in the titular role.
The Da Vinci Code made an absolute killing with worldwide receipts totaling $758 million, so it’s no wonder that Hanks received his fair share; pulling in $18 million for the religious thriller, plus the added bonus of sharing a percentage of those staggering profits.
This is all great and all, but those numbers hardly compete with the highest-earning animated franchise of ALL TIME. We're talking, of course, about Toy Story. The recent 4th installment is so huge that the current earnings come close to $520 million and show no signs of stopping any time soon.
So is Toy Story 4 going to be Hanks' most successful film ever? It sure seems to be going that way! Even without the final earnings from Toy Story 4, Hanks has an estimated net worth of $350 million!
While money may not be an issue for Tom anymore, it does seem like there’s something he IS deeply worried about. Years ago, the star ignored serious medical advice and chose to live a lifestyle that he now believes led to what has become a major health challenge, not just for Hanks.... But for AMERICA.
The actor said that he thought that if he removed the buns from his cheeseburgers, that would make his diet healthy enough. But sadly enough, it simply doesn’t work that way.
"I'm part of the lazy American generation that has blindly kept dancing through the party and now finds ourselves with a malady,” the actor confessed in an interview for Radio Times.
In a 2013 appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, Hanks revealed that he was paying the price for sweet indulgences. Doctors said that the warning sign of high levels of blood sugar that the actor had been living with since he was 36 had developed into Type 2 diabetes. Tom calls himself an idiot for the dietary decisions he made when he was younger and is very particular about his health nowadays.
We’re sure that Hanks will manage to balance both his work schedule and his well-being and wish him the best of luck with both!
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen
Even higher on our list are the most famous twins in Hollywood, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
Sure, everyone remembers them starting out on the TV series “Full House”. But how much did they earn back then? According to the Washington Post, the twins made a meager $2,400 per episode at the very beginning, but this sum eventually ballooned to $80,000 per episode closer to the show’s finale!
Quick calculation...during the last season the girls were… 9 years old...
Despite all this money, and the girls maturing and becoming independent at an early age - the twins decided to quit acting.
"I don't like to be the center of attention anymore," Ashley told Elle UK.
The Olsen twins took control of their production company Dualstar when they turned 18. It was a rough patch for the close-knit sisters and Mary-Kate even checked herself into a rehabilitation center for anorexia.
Thankfully, the girls managed to make it through these challenges and eventually built a vast media and fashion empire.
In addition, the Olsens have become a formidable force in female-fronted marketing. For instance, their enormously popular clothing line for Wal-Mart alone is estimated to generate about $1 billion in retail sales per year. Overall, their newfound status as business moguls brings the Olsen twins a net worth of $400 million!
Right alongside the women in our list sits another classic Hollywood titan of the silver screen. It’s hard to believe that the star is a grand old 82-years young. Long gone are the days when Jack Nicholson had to split his time between working in a toy store and moonlighting as a gopher for MGM studios.
It was a stroke of luck that an MGM producer noticed Nicholson's good looks one day and gave him a spot in Jeff Corey's famed acting classes. That’s how Nicholson’s story began, and now the star can easily afford an art collection worth in excess of $100 million that includes the works of modern masters like Matisse, Warhol and even Picasso.
Let’s take a short tour of how the actor got into this millionaire lifestyle. Throughout his career, Nicholson has had an incredible list of roles, one of them in a feature that won all five of the big Academy Awards for the first time in 41 years. Already guessed the film?
This was for none other than the on-screen adaptation of Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. The box office revenue of this twisted, hilarious, bittersweet tale ended up totaling $108 million. Jack also set further records for his role as the Joker in Tim Burton's Batman. Using his star power and savvy silver screen experience, Nicholson negotiated an especially lucrative deal for a percentage of the movie's gross earnings, eventually making himself a cumulative $60 million. And what about The Shining? The horror-thriller from the mind of writer Steven King envisioned through the genius of Stanley Kubrick reached $44 million in the box office.
After these and many other masterpieces, it seemed like nothing could stand in the way of Nicholson or his superstardom. In 2013, though, it was reported that Nicholson had started to have persistent memory issues. As a result, his appearances on-screen got fewer and fewer. Nevertheless, the star isn’t willing to leave behind his beloved career anytime soon.
This year, for example, we got to see him in a new tour de force, with a role in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."
Adam Sandler slides into third with an estimated net worth of $420 million.
A lofty height that is only matched by the perilously lowest critical ratings of his latest works, nonetheless Sandler is still doing very well for himself, especially thanks to his latest deal with Netflix. The company promised Sandler аn еѕtіmаtеd $250 mіllіоn to make four оrіgіnаl mоvіеѕ fоr them. And if we were to combine the income earned on all the films Sandler has starred in, it would be over $2 billion, making him very much a real-life Mr. Deeds.
Sandler kicked off his film career acting in TV series like The Cosby Show and Remote Control and was mostly known as a comedian. Well, perhaps that’s only half true as there are rumblings and rumors in the Hollywood gossip machine that in all his years as a comedian Sandler never wrote his own jokes. Whether true or false, Sandler definitely found a comfortable enough format to earn his millions.
Sandler’s highest-grossing film so far is Hotel Transylvania 2, which has earned a lifetime gross of $169 million.
Adams spent a small portion of his megamillions easily affording a $12 million house in Los Angeles. That actually sounds quite humble by comparison to some stars with less filmmaking clout, who earn lower paychecks money and blow it on buying islands. Stars like Johny Depp, for example.
Depp once had a net worth just as high as Sandler’s but is now worth a “mere” $200 million, probably due to his crazy lifestyle. Depp annually spends $3.6 million on his 40-person staff, with a further monthly bill of $350,000 going towards maintaining his 156-foot yacht. This doesn’t include little one-off splurges, like $5 million to shoot the ashes of his friend Hunter S. Thompson out of a cannon...
Perhaps this is why Sandler would rather stick to an unassuming house rather than an entire island… A less extravagant lifestyle is a small price to be in the rarified air of a top-three Hollywood earner.
In case you hadn’t already guessed, Tom Cruise sits comfortably in second place with an estimated net worth of $570 million. This guy is so internationally famous that Japan even named October 10th “Tom Cruise Day”!
Yes, he has his own national holiday now!
According to the Japan Memorial Day Association, Tom was awarded his very own day because of his love for, and close association with, all things Japanese. So it's probably worth mentioning that Cruise’s famous film the Last Samurai grossed $117 million MORE in Japan than it did in the U.S. Imagine that!
But this isn’t anywhere the top role for Tom Cruise... as nothing could even come close to his role as IMF agent Ethan Hunt. The Mission: Impossible franchise has grossed well over $2 billion worldwide throughout the past two decades! And how much of those earnings did Cruise get? A HELL OF A LOT.
Agent Ethan Hunt went on to become the highest-paid movie role in Hollywood history, bringing the star an estimated $290 million. In an interview with E News, Cruise revealed how far his plans stretched for future Mission Impossible films as he ages, telling interviewers that the franchise would go until he was: "about 90, then I'll cap it off."
So get ready for more outstanding adventures with Ethan Hunt!
The richest actor in Hollywood today is Jerry Seinfeld! It may be hard to imagine but Seinfeld has an estimated net worth of $950 million. All the other Hollywood actors don’t even come close to matching this level of wealth.
Best known for his starring role in the hit television sitcom 'Seinfeld,' Jerry Seinfeld made an unbelievable $267 million from the ninth and final season of his hit show.
So, what’s Seinfeld’s secret you might ask?
Well, one comedian named Brad Isaac once tried to figure that out as well during a short chat with Seinfeld himself. The answer was as simple as everything that's truly genius. The comedy superstar stated:
"The way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day."
This might possibly make a great comic out of you… but that doesn't mean it'll bring you millions. Still, if you feel like making jokes is your calling... who knows, perhaps Seinfield’s advice will help you become the next Hollywood millionaire?
Worth a shot, isn't it? Better start as soon as possible!